Originally Posted by DiGiTY
I'm moving to Seattle and into a building that only offers Broadstripe. I've never heard of Broadstripe. I plan on getting HD DVR service. How does Broadstripe HD DVR service compare to Comcast HD DVR? Am I gonna be missing out on any features, channels or quality?
I, on the other hand, cannot speak to Comcast HD, but do have an original Millenium (now Broadstripe) HD-DVR.
As mentioned elsewhere, Broadstripe's HD lineup is unforgivably, atrociously bad... it's honestly a travesty. Originally, my building was locked to Millenium by contract and the only reason I didn't go with OTA exclusively was to be able to watch sports in HD: KCPQ (the local Fox affiliate), which doesn't come in at my house, ESPN-HD and FSN-HD, which only broadcasts a few hours a day when individual FSN-carried sporting events are available in HD (primarily a few games a week for the Sonics and so far most every 2008 game for the Mariners). With the Sonics leaving town, FSN-HD will likely be dark for days on end during the winter months.
The HD DVR they gave me is a Motorola 6412, which is very slow to change channels, prone to muting itself without warning (for me, typically when FFwding past commercials) and lacks the ability to create series programs via keywords. Overall, I find that doing anything other than recording the show I'm currently watching and recording network series is fairly clunky. Also, setting delete priority for recordings is lame... it's either "keep until I delete" or "delete oldest recording when space is needed". You don't get to say "keep only 3 of this show" like you can in, say, Windows Media Center. This may be a limitation of the DVR itself, which used to also be offered by Comcast and may still be.
Either way, the lack of keyword-based programming is especially heinous for sports, since the DVR sees pretty much every sporting event as a 1-time event. Yesterday I had to manually schedule a recording for every Mariners game for the next week. Ugh.
Quality-wise, Broadstripe seems to have a lot of compression artifacts, especially ESPN-HD and FSN-HD. It's hard for me to say how much of that is Broadstripe and how much comes from their feed, but FSN-HD seems especially blocky. That said, it still looks loads better than any of the SD channels, which are almost all universally awful.
My understanding is that provider exclusivity contracts are no longer binding in Seattle, so you shouldn't be locked into Broadstripe. If you can get Comcast in your building, I say do it. Especially if you go through comcastspecial *dot* com and take advantage of the rebates.
I'd do it too, but the last thing I need is more HD channels to suck up my time. I'd rather just continue to gripe about my current lousy service provider...